Trends evident in post-democracy elections, including in the 2004 national elections, and the 2006 local government elections, continue in this 2009 pre-election period. Several political party members have been murdered, or attempts have been made on their lives, and intimidation and threat is rife in a number of areas.
Several politically-aligned people have been murdered, but it is not known whether all the deaths are linked to inter-party tensions. There do appear clear political overtones in the killings in the volatile areas of Nongoma, Muden and Msinga. Those who died are:
- IFP youth leader Bhekinkosi Dube who was shot dead during early January at Mtubatuba
- Umgababa ANC Youth Chairperson Sthembiso Cele on 23 January
- ANC supporter Bongani Khumalo was killed near Benedectine Hospital, Nongoma, during early March. An IFP councillor has been arrested in connection with the murder
- IFP councillor at Umlalazi, Eshowe, gunned down outside his Gingindlovu home on 25 February
- ANC supporter Vusi Gaza died of injuries sustained after an ANC rally on 7 March during an attack by alleged IFP supporters at Msinga
- Senior IFP organiser Ntokozo Zondi murdered near Esikhawini while driving home
- Muzi Zuma aka Mbambo shot dead at Muden on 25 March
- Thulani Justice Gumede, a disabled man, was shot and stabbed to death in the kwaNdwalane area near Paddock on or around Sunday 29 March. His death followed alleged threats that people would be killed if they wore ANC clothing. His ANC T-shirt had been removed when his body was found. Two men have been arrested and are in prison. One is from the kwaNdwalane area, and had reportedly been away to receive paramilitary training prior to the killing. His co-accused is from kwaNongoma, and it is not known whether he too had received training at the Mlaba camp or elsewhere (the recent paramilitary training at Mlaba camp was shut down by the SAPS in August 2008. 473 men were arrested and released bail
A few days after she had attended an ANC rally at Umzimkhulu on 8 March, Creighton resident Thuliisile Memela was murdered by her IFP supporting ex-boyfriend Michael Dlamini, who then killed himself.
Although the brutal assassination, in Umlazi, of Msinga Inkosi and Jacob Zuma ally Mbongeleni Zondo on 23 January appeared linked to political contestation in his area it also appears connected to taxi conflict in the region.
Violent incidents, threat and intimidation and intolerance : Problem areas
While there have been isolated incidents of alleged intimidation and removal of posters involving different political parties, most of the reported incidents involve ANC/IFP conflict.
There is a contest over traditional leadership in this area, in which historical records reinforce the claim by Inkosi Mahlobo, and political affiliation overlaps with this contest. ANC supporting Inkosi Mahlobo has survived previous attacks on his life, and remains under threat. There have also been allegations of political intimidation in nearby Belgrade.
In Ncotshane township there have been a number of incidents, including the removal and defacing of ANC posters. In mid February two ANC supporters were injured in a hit and run accident and two IFP supporters, including the son of the mayor, were arrested and given bail. According to the police, the father of one of those arrested was also charged for assaulting a police member. Mfundo Mncwango, one of those arrested, was subsequently alleged to have stabbed ANC supporter Xolani Dlamini, and he has been re-arrested. ANC councillor Busi Mvelase, who has suffered threats to her life at various periods during the past fifteen years is once again under threat, as is fellow ANC councillor Luke Nxumalo.
ANC leader Matobelo Ngcobo was injured on 31 January and, on the following day, the car in which ANC representative Prince Zeblon Zulu and his relatives were travelling home after an ANC rally in the area came under fire and three people were injured. There have been arrests in respect of these incidents. The ANC had held a rally at KwaSeme, and the IFP had held its rally at eMona. IFP supporters had allegedly intimidated ANC supporters bussed into the area, and stoned buses. A large police contingent dispersed IFP supporters blockading the road into Nongoma.
The IFP has accused the SAPS National Intervention Unit deployed in the area of harassing, intimidating and threatening party supporters.
There is continuing conflict in the kwaBiyela area. Although described as faction fighting there are clear political overtones. ANC supporters claim that posters are taken down, and that they are subject to severe intimidation. The house of Mr Ngema (ANC) was burnt down on 25 February and he has fled the area.
There have been ongoing clashes between IFP and ANC supporting students at the university, At least eleven students have been injured – some reportedly being forced out of windows – and several required hospitalisation. A police task force has been deployed in the area following the failure of the local police to deal with the situation
This is a notorious no-go area for the ANC (see Monitor reports at www.violencemonitor.com ) . The party waited until recently to place its posters. Some have been removed but most are reportedly still in place.
On Sunday 29 March ANC supporters were attacked while canvassing in the Chris Hani shack area of Ntshaweni, allegedly by IFP supporters, including a man whose name has been linked to political violence for the past fifteen years. Three were injured and hospitalised.
On Monday 13 April COPE members canvassing in the iTete area were threatened by ANC supporters, including one who was wielding a rifle (name known). A case has been opened with the SAPS
The ANC allege that its supporters in Richterfontein have been subject to threat and intimidation by IFP councillors, and that an SAPS patrol has been deployed in the area.
A Department of Agriculture meeting held in the Sahlumbe area on 24 March was allegedly disrupted by IFP supporters who damaged property and attacked people. Three people were reportedly arrested and charged
While an ANC rally in the Msinga area on 7 March proceeded peacefully, a party supporter who alighted from a bus to walk to his home after the rally was allegedly chased by IFP supporters, including a councillor, to the end of a cliff, which he was forced over. It took hours for Emergency Services to reach him and rescue him and he died in hospital a week later of his injuries.
The car of people using a loudhailer to announce a function attended by the MEC for Local Government and Traditional affairs was allegedly stoned by IFP supporters on 7 April. A man has been arrested by the local police.
ANC supporters were allegedly beaten by IFP supporters after they had met in the Nkanini area on 15 March. Ward 4 Councillor Jeffrey Ngobese and other ANC activist remain in fear of their lives (see report on meeting disruption). ANC supporter Muzi Zuma aka Mbambo was shot dead at his home on 25 March.
In another incident during the latter part of March an ANC supporter was knocked over by a vehicle linked to the IFP, and she was hospitalised. The IFP opened a case against her for allegedly removing posters. Both she and the person accused of driving into her have been arrested.
The incidents in Muden appear closely connected with events in the Enhlalakahle Township, Greytown, on 22 March when ANC members who had been campaigning in the township, as well as community members, were attacked by alleged IFP supporters, including councillors. Property was badly damaged, and a number of people were injured. ANC supporter Dumisani Mshibe was badly injured : After an attempt to shoot him failed he was deliberately run over, allegedly by a car driven by an IFP supporter. He remains in hospital, in a critical condition.
According to the IFP, about 500 ANC supporters prevented the IFP from campaigning in Enhlalakahle township in Greytown on Sunday 5 April, when they had blockaded the road and stoned the IFP cars. A case has been opened with the SAPS. According to the police, the IFP retaliated by firing shots, and that police vehicles and private cars were damaged by stones.
Also on Sunday 5 April three ANC supporters were injured and required medical treatment after allegedly being stoned by IFP supporters – reportedly in the presence of the police – in the Muden area.
MAQONQO (TABLE MOUNTAIN)
Towards the end of March ANC supporter, surname Khuzwayo, was stabbed by alleged IFP supporters, one of whom has been arrested. Mr Khuzwayo is still in hospital.
According to ANC supporters there were disruptions during voter registration weekend in February, and when the ANCYL held a meeting in the Sweetwaters area on 15 March (see separate report). A number of cases of intimidation have been opened, including by Mr Majozi (whose son was allegedly threatened at the school gates, and fears to attend school), Mr Mngadi (a former IFP member who has switched political allegiance) and Mr Mthalane (Mr Mngadi’s neighbour). A local IFP councillor, against whom a number of cases have been opened during the past few years, was allegedly one of those involved in these incidents, including one in which a gun was brandished.
A community meeting in Edendale over the weekend of 28/29 March was allegedly disrupted by IFP supporters travelling in a motorcade. A young man received medical treatment after being stabbed, allegedly by a person in the motorcade.
According to ANC supporters in Ward 1, Mpumuza, IFP supporters, including a local councillor are intimidating ANC supporters and threatening to attack them. Muzi Sokhela needed medical attention after he was assaulted on Sunday 12 April and a case has been opened.
On 11 April shots were allegedly fired at the Elandskop home of IFP leader David Ntombela by ANC supporters campaigning in the area. The ANC disputed the IFP version of what had happened and also claimed that two of its members were hospitalised after being attacked by IFP supporters after the incident near Ntombela’s house.
The IFP was accused of attempting to disrupt a Department of Agriculture meeting in the NTABAMHLOPE area on 21 February.
During by-elections on4 March two people were shot and injured during clashes between IFP and ANC supporters. A number of cars were also damaged
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) alleges that its provincial chairman was attacked while putting up posters in the Malangeni ward on 19 March
LOWER SOUTH COAST
In February a case was opened by ANC supporters in kwaXolo after alleged assault by the local IFP Youth Chairperson.
On Saturday 4 April ANC supporters campaigning in Margate were allegedly attacked by IFP supporters armed with ‘traditional’ weapons who had been bussed into the area from elsewhere. Taxi rank manager Bonga Mkhize was badly assaulted and has opened a case with the police.
On 7 April a man wearing an ANC T-shirt was assaulted with an IFP flag, allegedly by an IFP councillor – who was arrested and released on warning – in Port Shepstone.
COPE alleged intimidation by the ANC in Estcourt (a case opened with police) and Gamalakhe (Lower South Coast), and claims its posters have been removed in Mandeni.
The ANC alleges that it saw a poster being removed by a DA supporter in the Bluff area, Durban. The ACDP opened a case with the Umzinto SAPS after its posters were defaced, allegedly by ANC supporters. The Democratic Alliance alleges that the ANC has defaced its posters in Copeville, Pietermaritzburg.
Sources of reports
These reports are received mainly from persons in the affected areas, but media reports are also included. The IFP has been invited to submit details of incidents targeting its members to the Monitor.